by Geni, Inc. (David Sacks, Alan Braverman)
Allows families to collaboratively build their family tree. When the user adds a relative’s email address, that relative is invited to join the tree. Your family’s information is kept private as you can only search for people who are in your family. When separate trees begin to overlap, they can be merged, with the potential of producing a world family tree. In November 2012, Geni was purchased by MyHeritage.

Free • Subscription • Online • Full Featured
Overall1561.84 out of 51.84 out of 51.84 out of 51.84 out of 51.84 out of 5 1.84
201471.85 out of 51.85 out of 51.85 out of 51.85 out of 51.85 out of 5 1.85
2013211.72 out of 51.72 out of 51.72 out of 51.72 out of 51.72 out of 5 1.72
Earlier1281.89 out of 51.89 out of 51.89 out of 51.89 out of 51.89 out of 5 1.89

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156 Reviews of Geni     RSS 2.0 RSS     Showing 1 - 20                   Add Your Review

Geni Review by GARY MATUSKA,  Apr 14, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

free service ok but geni pro not worth the money i tried the free trial and canceled before the trial period was up but they charged me $119.40 any way. their links do not work and there is no prominent “contact us” portal. some have mentioned curators but i can’t find these either.

Biggest Pro: free tree out there for all to see and to access
Biggest Con: very limited access to subscription help, no portals or links to deal with business issues

Geni Review by LD,  Mar 17, 2014

2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

Lets be real SOURCED information and PICTURES is what is shown on the net when people do a search for genealogical info (since I am forced to make it public), it is what entices them to join Geni—to obtain that information–the information that I took time to research, source and place into the ridiculously flawed “One World Tree”. So, should Geni pay me a % of the fee they charge? What does Geni actually contribute to someone like me? Someone who just wants to have a home for my tree? I have NO use for “smart matches” or random “merges” that take more time for me fix than actual research.

I understand the concept of a “One World Tree”..problem is most people copy and paste WRONG and UNDOCUMENTED information that sneaks into MY SOURCED and DOCUMENTED trees. I have people married to brothers, sons, and sisters…duplicates galore with no way to remove them; Public profiles I want to keep private.

To be clear, when I joined, the “World Tree”, public profiles and random merges were not in effect. Policy changes “mid-stream” left many of us confused at best and angry at worst.

Biggest Pro: Curators are awesome–these people are VOLUNTEERS–not paid Geni employees
Biggest Con: Site not user friendly (ie can’t easily fix mistakes) random merges with UNDOCUMENTED, UNSOURCED and WRONG information

Geni Review by David,  Feb 2, 2014

3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

The question is, what are the mechanisms for resolving or representing conflicts between overlapping family trees? How is uncertainty represented?

Geni Review by Tiffany R.,  Jan 31, 2014

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

I love Geni. I think it’s one of the best family tree websites out there today. Its very easy to use and the best part is that you get to collaborate with an amazing community of users. I had been working on my family tree for several years now alone, with very little interest from my family. Once I stumbled upon Geni and starting building my tree, all of a sudden I found myself with a wealth of information I never knew existed. Their goal is to create a single, family tree of the entire world. With all the horrible duplicates and incorrect information out there on the internet on sites like Ancestry, I was at first was weary of this. But, after a few years, I can now see the benefits of it. One of the biggest problems with family trees online is that wrong information is copied over and over. Not something you have to worry about with Geni since their goal is not to have any duplicates. All duplicates are merged into one profile. People can correct mistakes as they find them and add new information too. Everyone gets to benefit from the work of others! Curators help maintain the world tree and they are extremely helpful. They are part of the reason that makes Geni’s family tree so great.

They introduced Record Matches this past year and it has been amazing. I’ve found so many matching historical records to my tree and it’s easy to confirm and connect to their profiles. Unfortunately, it does require a data subscription to access it, but it’s totally worth it.

If you’re looking to fully control your tree then I strongly suggest you go somewhere else. And I hope people who are reading these reviews will keep in mind that many of the reviewers are trying to use Geni for something that it was not intended for. In my opinion, it is an unfair assessment of what Geni offers. Geni is perfect for what it has set out to do, a collaborative world tree. Those not interested in sharing their tree should definitely go somewhere else. To those reviewers I say this - it’s not them, it’s you.

P.S. I also read people having trouble with their subscriptions. Customer service does exist. It took me two seconds to find contact info in their Help Center. I got a speedy reply to my refund request after I forgot to cancel my free trial.

Biggest Pro: collaborative world tree
Biggest Con: difficult to fix wrong merges without the help of a curator

Geni Review by Brittany Anderson,  Jan 26, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I signed up for geni just for the sake or organizing my family tree online somewhere easy. I quickly realized that while it’s free, which is nice, it’s truly a site for clickophiles. Your profiles can merge with others, without your permission sometimes - which can be very annoying. I’ve had multiple times where I’ve gone to see that my profile merged with someone else’s and the two had extremely contradicting information. Normally I’d see this as an opportunity to discover more, so I would ask for their sources, since they did not provide them readily on the profiles, but unfortunately none of the information they gave had a reliable source. It was always random unreliable sites that gave absolutely no citations. Documentation is key in genealogy, but many people on geni have yet to figure this out. Some people just want to believe their ancestors did certain things or were certain people, but won’t accept the documents that state otherwise. I’d be fine with their living in denial if it didn’t impact my own online tree.

Biggest Pro: free
Biggest Con: clickophiles everywhere

Geni Review by vance,  Jan 8, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

don’t want cant find a way to cancel it all lies

Biggest Pro: none
Biggest Con: money con

Geni Review by murgatroid,  Jan 4, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

Do not touch Geni with a barge pole!
Truly wish I’d seen the comments here before dipping my toe in this cesspool.
Impossible to fully delete my account / tree - had to go through each profile one by one deleting the content & images - no guarantee that they won’t simply ignore my deletions. (Guess they have backups). Some of the profiles of close relatives can still be seen via google search.
i.e., massive privacy issues.
Disgusting organisation peopled by *Big World Tree* evangelists.
Scope for a class action here.
Mea culpa for not reading the sensible misgivings below.

Biggest Pro: zero
Biggest Con: A VERY big con!

Geni Review by Wes,  Dec 8, 2013

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I’ve been a Pro user for some time. You can get family information entered, but customer service doesn’t exist. Pictures will mysteriously get incorporated to another site they own that you cannot access. Keep away.

Biggest Pro: Not much
Biggest Con: Slow, and no customer service.

Geni Review by JH Moore,  Nov 13, 2013

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I joined and thought it was a good site, I then became a PRO customer and almost overnight my family grew to 5000. I had no idea that everyone on Geni would have access to my tree. I have delete as much as I can and would like to delete my account if I could only find a way to do so.

Biggest Pro: Can’t think of one
Biggest Con: Everyone has access to your account and can merge, or change profiles.

Geni Review by JW,  Nov 9, 2013

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

I have been using Geni since 2009 and I have found it to be a great way to connect with distant family members and work together as a team to build the one world tree. With the addition of record matches from Myheritage you can easily add missing family members with the very accurate matching system.

There are a great team of contributors working in all areas of the world, and projects allow us to focus on certain areas. No other genealogy site has the depth of information in a single tree as Geni does. A lot of work has been done to make the historical part of the tree as accurate as possible, there’s still a lot of work to do but we are getting there. Geni curators can turn profiles into “master profiles” and lock correct data in place so it cannot be change to false data.

For a site with over 8 million users there is surprisingly little duplication, and fake profiles can be quickly reported and deleted by customer service.

1. For those below about being able to Google your name, were you LOGGED OUT at the time? you can change your settings so you cannot be Goggled, and non claimed living profiles cannot be made public and are not searchable on Google.

2. Those complaining they cant delete info, there is a little X in the corner of each profile that allows you to delete a profile.

All in all 4 stars. Needs some improvements here and there but overall a good site. But if you have the attitude of THIS IS MY TREE DON’T TOUCH and can’t work with others this isn’t the site for you.


Biggest Pro: Collaboration with other users created a dynamic family tree which is always growing and improving
Biggest Con: needs more users to become active collaborators

Geni Review by James,  Oct 13, 2013

Not Rated

Can not get on…………..anymore………………….help

Biggest Pro: good site
Biggest Con: locked the tree

Geni Review by Alan,  Oct 3, 2013

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

About 3 years ago, I put my tree in Geni on the request of a close relation of my wife. Some months later I found that the management of many of the persons I had in my tree, including my own children, had been taken over by other persons. In one case the person was not related what-so-ever. In other case it was an eighth cousin several times removed. Other instances like this. I was able to delete these managers and reinstate myself as I had originally put the persons affected in the tree myself. Later I decided that too many non related people had access to my and my own families personal data and I deleted all I could from Geni. Now I find that I can access my own name and birth year and my wife’s name, birth year and marriage year in at least Geni trees,just by Googling our names on the Internet. This is hardly keeping some private information of living people confidential’

Biggest Pro: none
Biggest Con: Not all information on living people is kept 100% private

Geni Review by Archie,  Sep 8, 2013

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I am guessing Geni uses unfair practices. I opened a trial account using paypal. I used geni for about 10 minutes. it is worthless as a research tool. It is great as a business generator for heritage. I canceled my payment through paypal. I tried to cancel Pro through geni but it would never confirm the cancellation. this could be software error or it could be that they intend to try to continue charging after the trial period. I closed the account.

I guess geni might be ok if you consider it merely a social networking sight.

Biggest Pro: tree is easy to use
Biggest Con: account software does not work well

Geni Review by Anonymous,  Aug 30, 2013

3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

An excellent site for hints and pointers.
There doesn’t exist an instruction how to work on the site.
As free basic user there are many limits and to many popups with request to upgrade to paying user.
The search tool works bad, it is easier to search via Google with addition
For a collaboration site there are to many private limits and to many duplicates.

Biggest Pro: More than 70,000,000 by bloodrelation or marriage with another connected profiles
Biggest Con: Mostly no sources for the data and relations, frequent and easy vandalism

Geni Review by Dan Stuart,  Aug 9, 2013

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

The “2 week free trial” of Geni Pro is actually only 13 days. You will be charged on the 14th day at 12:01 am.

Biggest Con: Deceptive advertising. Absolutely no customer support.

Geni Review by W.S.,  Jul 30, 2013

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

You can’t delete a family on Geni.

Geni Review by Dave,  Jul 16, 2013

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

Geni is not a traditional genealogy site. Their primary mission is to facilitate the building of a single World Tree of everyone with no duplicates. Consequently, people (like most of the recent reviewers below) who think they are entering a completely private and isolated tree that is controlled only by them are often eventually shocked and dismayed to discover that their tree has been assimilated into the Geni World Tree at some point in the future. This would not be a problem if Geni had only warned its new users about this much more clearly up front. They are getting a little better at this lately, But there are some, very vocal people who signed up 3 or more years ago who probably would have never done so if they knew what was in store for their work as the World Tree really started to take off.

A secondary Geni mission is to be a social networking site for family members. Since these features are integrated into the genealogical tree, the paranoid amongst us start freaking out when they discover a 3rd cousin who may be a serial killer. Privacy protections are in place for profiles that are marked private (out to 4th cousins and 4th grandparents). But again, because this is a truly shared tree, your second cousin’s second cousin, for example, could view and edit your second cousin’s profile just as you can. If you think about it, that’s really the only way a truly collaborative World Tree could work. In reality, the worst case I’ve found is that you get stuck in an edit war with someone you don’t really know.

But in my opinion, the benefits FAR outweigh the downsides. By overlaying and stitching together the work of tens of thousands of genealogists (amateurs and professionals) from around the world, connections are revealed that would be practically impossible to discover by any other means.

I would never recommend using Geni as a primary place to store your own research and keep it totally under your own private control. MyHeritage or Ancestry are much better sites for that. But if you’re willing to share what you’ve done by entering it in the Geni World Tree, you will have a tremendous new source of discovery at your fingertips.

If you know up front what you’re getting yourself into, there is really nothing else like Geni.

Biggest Pro: Reqards sharing with capabilities not found elsewhere
Biggest Con: Not for people who do not like to share their work with strangers

Geni Review by Wendy,  Jul 13, 2013

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I think it is a crappy service for family trees, they take over your family tree, they do not let you delete your family tree, they merge you tree without your permission, and the worst is they actually have idiots adding to your family tree, stealing all of your work, claiming it as their own work.

They make duplicates by the hundreds and give them to people who have nothing to do with your family, it is a total breach of privacy, they welcome you to make a free family tree but forget to add that after you do they own it.

PEOPLE WHO WISH TO DELETE THEIR TREES AND FIND THIS OPTION ON THEIR WEBSITE, THE BUTTON REFUSES YOU TO SAY NO. Geni has no write to control a button on their website that allows you to delete your Tree, it does not give the option it defaults to the message bellow, and of course you want to choose no but the button is set to the bellow answer.

I want to donate the profiles I manage to the Geni community. This will enable active Geni users to edit and merge these profiles to maintain the accuracy of the Geni tree.


Biggest Pro: None
Biggest Con: Stealing your Family Tree, and not allowing you to delete it.

[The above review contained defamatory remarks that were removed - Moderator]

Geni Review by Denise Baker,  Jul 1, 2013

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

Terrible, just plain terrible. Do not join, and Do Not give them your credit info. Really, its just what other folks have uploaded. not their own data.

Biggest Pro: isn’t one
Biggest Con: everything

Geni Review by Amy fisher,  Jun 8, 2013

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

This site lists my Grandfather as deceased and he is very much alive. I still haven’t found a way to contact Geni to tell them.

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